U.S. grant helps track performance of students

WASHINGTON — A state program that tracks Nevada students’ academic performance will receive a $6 million boost in August from a federal grant, state and federal officials said Friday.

Since 2000, the Nevada Department of Education has collected student data required by state law and by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The state ultimately will compare teaching methods and students’ grades, attendance and backgrounds to see what works best to improve student performance, said Education Department Deputy Superintendent Jim Wells.

“And the bottom line is, are these programs that they’re putting in really effective?” he said. “And everybody wants to know the answer to that question.”

Implementing the costly program has required federal and state aid since its inception, Wells said.

The latest federal funding came in a three-year, $6 million grant announced Friday by U.S. Sens. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and John Ensign, R-Nev. It provides $2.5 million the first year, starting this August, and $1.7 million each following year until 2010.

The Nevada Legislature also approved $1.4 million to help fund the project over the next two years, Wells said.


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